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Conjuring inconstancies: ethnographies of fleeting and intermittent presence 
Stuart McLean (University of Minnesota)
Maxime Le Calvé (Humboldt University in Berlin, ExC Matters of Activity)
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Tuesday 23 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

How might fleeting yet transformative moments be made more central to accounts of the world, not as secondary to and derivative of states of permanence, but as a constitutive part of collective life? We seek submissions in the form of ethnography, creative writing, or audiovisual/performance pieces.

Long Abstract:

“It is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary.” Poet Frank O’Hara evokes a moment of intimacy seemingly at odds with the solidity and permanence of monumental artworks. How might such fleeting yet transformative moments be accorded a more central place in our accounts of the world? Reality is often easier to describe in terms of enduring presences and stable conditions, yet to focus exclusively on these overlooks so much: fleeting moods, meteorological fluctuations, glimpses in passing, visionary states, unexpected encounters with humans and other beings. What if any are the traces these leave? How might they relate to the more knowing ephemerality of artistic performances, political protests, or transitory but recurring occasions like festivals? Suggestions for approaching such moments can be found in Turner’s “liminality,” Stewart’s “ordinary affects,” Benjamin’s flashing “dialectical image,” Moten’s black ”fugitivity,” Muñoz’s queer theorization of “ephemera as evidence,” or a range of contemporary art and performance practices. Building upon these insights, we are interested in contributions that explore the fleeting and transitory (along with their mobilization for creative, activist, or other purposes) not as secondary to and derivative of states of permanence but as profoundly constitutive of collective life, gesturing always to the possibility that things might be otherwise. Recognizing that the challenge posed is as much creative as descriptive or conceptual, we invite contributions in the form of ethnography, creative writing (ethno-fiction, poetry etc.) or audiovisual or performance pieces.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -